In 1838, when miners were excavating ore from the Bastnas mine in Sweden, owned by a chemist named Hisinger, they came across several new minerals. When this particular rare earth carbonate was described to him, he named it Bastnaite. It which crystalizes in hexagons.
The Molybdenum Corporation of America purchased the mine in the mid 1960's as they needed the europium oxide in the ore's lanthanide content for its red phosphor to make the pictures brighter in color televisions. This mine was the primary source of lanthanides from the 60's to the 80's until a massive deposit was discovered in Bayan Obo in Inner Mongolia.